Ford at Fox: 24 Film Boxset

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HerrSchreck
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#76 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:54 pm

Not to mention the issue of color tinting. The bfi is fully tinted (sometimes it looks like the celluloid is tinted, sometimes it looks electronically executed), sepia for outdoors/day, and blue for night scenes, whereas Fox appears to have simply restored and duped the elements straight up in b/w. I wonder if this is authoritative to the original US presentation (whereas foreign markets very well may have printed their own copies w tints after inserting their own regional intertitles, as often happened w silents that were initially meant to be prented in b/w... Lang a good example of this phenom), or Fox just overlooked/ignored the tinting scheme altogether.

Not the biggest fanatic of Ford's silent period, so I have no info either way...

Anyone?

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Musashi219
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#77 Post by Musashi219 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:16 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Musashi219 wrote: I am unsure what is meant by "earlier edition" of My Darling Clementine. Perhaps an earlier cut of the film? Hope this helps!
It means that that film was an early adaptation of the same material as My Darling Clementine.
Ahh I misread it and wasn't paying attention to the puncuation. This did prompt me to put in My Darling Clementine to see if Frontier Marshall was one of the supplements and it is not.

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GringoTex
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#78 Post by GringoTex » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:07 am

HerrSchreck wrote:Anyone?
Tag Gallagher says he doesn't know if the original theatrical release was tinted but that the tinting in the BFI disc and on the Killiam print that was in circulation for years has no historical basis and is a poor representation of what the tinting would have been like anyway.
Last edited by GringoTex on Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ellipsis7
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#79 Post by ellipsis7 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:15 am

Surely also the prints, if they were tinted originally, would have be done individually by hand, so there would be some latitude and variation.... Just as there apparently is a difference between the bfi 'cut' and the Fox one, in the takes that are used in the assembly... Laboratory processes then meant several parallel versions might be produced, rather than a single master negative, from which all prints were struck...

From elsewhere come these clues...
Does anyone have info about the qualitative differences between the two restored versions of The Iron Horse that are both being released in the same John Ford package? Based on its 133m length, Turner appears to be broadcasting the International release on December 9. The American release is 16m longer, but this does not necessarily make it better. Although it is shorter, does the International version have footage that is not in the American?

I saw the International version at Cinecon a few years ago. It was restored by Kevin Brownlow. The version available through the BFI is tinted.

The international version has more explanatory titles explaining USA
history, since European audiences might not be familiar with it. It also
uses a "B" shot, which was shot from a second camera, rather than the shot that the "A" camera used for the USA release.

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John Hodson
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#80 Post by John Hodson » Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:39 am

Dave Kehr says about 'Frontier Marshall':

[quote]Allan Dwan's groundbreaking comic Western “Frontier Marshalâ€

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Musashi219
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#81 Post by Musashi219 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:44 am

John Hodson wrote:There's a poster over at the HTF that says Fox has something up their sleeve for purchasers of 'Ford at Fox' with 'Frontier Marshall' and recommends that a close watch be kept on www.foxclassics.com - all very mysterious.
Hopefully it will be a rebate to get Frontier Marshall. Say sending in the proof-of-purchase and a receipt or something.

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What A Disgrace
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#82 Post by What A Disgrace » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:35 pm

I'm glad Kehr likes the pre-release version of Clementine so much. Its one of my favourite Ford films.

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John Hodson
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#83 Post by John Hodson » Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:46 pm

What A Disgrace wrote:I'm glad Kehr likes the pre-release version of Clementine so much. Its one of my favourite Ford films.
Ditto; makes me wonder how much influence Selznick had on the theatrical versions of other Ford films - postive or negative - particularly Drums Along The Mohawk.

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#84 Post by patrick » Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:17 pm

I haven't been able to find any confirmation on this, is the Steamboat 'Round the Bend disc just the release from the Will Rogers box with new art?

EDIT: Oops, it looks like the NYT review confirms this.

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ltfontaine
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#85 Post by ltfontaine » Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:06 pm

I am trying to locate the means to contact someone at the Fox Studio Classics division about the Ford at Fox set which I, like many others, have received from the retailer in extensively damaged condition. (This topic is discussed at length in the Impressive Impractical Packaging thread under DVD News and Discussions.) Contact addresses, email or otherwise, are conspicuously absent from Fox's various websites. The only contact route I have been able to locate thus far is at the online FoxStore, but it will only accept inquiries bearing an order number from the site and I bought from Barnes and Noble. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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htdm
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#86 Post by htdm » Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:54 pm

Fox Home Entertainment Hours of Operation (PST): M-F 8AM-5PM

1-888-223-2FOX

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J Wilson
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#87 Post by J Wilson » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:54 pm

If you're a Costco member here in the US, they have a coupon good from Dec 17-24 for $60 off the full set, bringing the price to $160 before tax.

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domino harvey
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#88 Post by domino harvey » Sat Dec 15, 2007 4:52 am

Fox website wrote:SPECIAL REDEMPTION OFFER FOR FORD AT FOX PURCHASERS COMING SOON

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Derek Estes
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#89 Post by Derek Estes » Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:12 pm

Has anyone else wondered why Men Without Women wasn't included? Considering it is given a several page spread in the book. The only film not included in the set to be treated this way.

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tryavna
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#90 Post by tryavna » Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:05 pm

Haven't posted around here in a few weeks -- partly because I was finishing up a big project of my own and partly because I've been working my way slowly but surely through this mammoth boxset, which is absolutely stunning. Immersing myself so completely in the John Ford universe over the past two weeks has been one of the intensest, most powerful, and most fulfilling movie-watching experiences of my life. As so many critics and film historians have pointed out, Ford's films take on added meaning when you're aware of all the echoes from film to film. I mean, seeing Jack Pennick literally kick William Tracy in the ass one night and then seeing Jack Pennick pat Dan Dailey on the back the next is the sort of delight that makes you feel like you're actually part of someone else's family. And getting a chance to see all three of the Ford-Will Rogers collaborations in rapid succession imbues them with a cummulative power that makes them seem like a three-part masterpiece rather than just three very entertaining individual films.

Of course, the two biggest pleasures of all have been:

(1) watching Ford's development as an artist over a 32-year period, from a talented action director with an eye for landscape (1920-26) into a Murnau-influenced self-conscious artiste (1928-33) and then finally into the great unique master he became (1934-39 and beyond)

(2) discovering some gems I had never known of before, including most notably Pilgrimage, which is a little heavy-handed at times perhaps but is probably the very moment at which John Ford synthesized all the Griffith-Walsh-Murnau influences he'd been incorporating into his own work for fifteen years and finally came up with something truly his own -- including that uniquely Fordian mix of melodramatic sentiment and broad ethnic/regional humor. (Really, for all its flaws, I can't recommend Pilgrimage enough.)

As far as the packaging issue, I have run into a few problems. Several of the discs are what I would call "scuffed" rather than "scratched." Since I've found that easiest way of removing them from their tabs is to slowly twist them off, I can only imagine that this was the result of the machine that probably twisted them into place in the first place. So far, all but one of the discs have played OK, but my player seems to be one of those machines that can play virtually anything. The one problem-disc has been the pre-release side of Clementine, which must actually have a couple of deep scratches. Since I already owned that disc to begin with, I think I'll just make do. (I still have seven more films to work my way through, so I'll reserve my final decision for another week.) It is a major disappointment, considering the fabulous work that has been otherwise lovingly done to the set. But since disc 1 of my recent I Am Cuba set was loose and similarly "scuffed," I'm growing wary (and weary) of all these recent over-the-top packaging designs. In the end, since I was luck to get the Ford set through the Barnes & Noble $89 deal, I may just decide to rebuy an additional disc or two down the road and not deal with the possibility of trading my current set for an even more problematic one.

Otherwise, in my opinion, this is easily the best DVD release of 2007. Now if only Warner and Sony will box up and release their remaining titles and if perhaps someone like David Shepard will release some of the early Ford-Harry Carey outings, we'll have a composite picture of one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century.

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Via_Chicago
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#91 Post by Via_Chicago » Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:03 pm

tryavna wrote:(2) discovering some gems I had never known of before, including most notably Pilgrimage, which is a little heavy-handed at times perhaps but is probably the very moment at which John Ford synthesized all the Griffith-Walsh-Murnau influences he'd been incorporating into his own work for fifteen years and finally came up with something truly his own -- including that uniquely Fordian mix of melodramatic sentiment and broad ethnic/regional humor. (Really, for all its flaws, I can't recommend Pilgrimage enough.)
Yes, Pilgrimage is indeed an extremely good picture. What I most appreciated about it though was that Ford really dialed down the folksier aspects of his characters and stories. At his worst, Ford could be extremely maudlin, sentimental, and heavy-handed (in a very hokey kind of way) in his portrayal of country folks (this is something that crops up in "minor" Ford, and is perhaps the primary reason why said pictures are considered "minor"). Here though, characters are treated lovingly and with a sly sense of humor. Take, for example, the scene in which Henrietta Crossman's character goes to the shooting gallery with that "mountain woman." The scene is merely an aside, but it's funny because it's gentle, touching, and it refuses to either demean or exaggerate.

The Murnau influence you mention is still here I think, but Ford is able to give such scenes his only signature touch as well. Norman Foster's sexual initiation in the hay is lovingly dealt with, a beautiful, remarkable scene that resonates extremely well by the end of the film. Certain other aspects, like Crossman's flashbacks to her son at the train station, work modestly well. However, the film gains considerable strength from Ford's warm treatment of his characters; the charming humor, the moving catharsis at films end, etc.

But where this film really, really works is in Crossman's performance as Hannah Jessop, and Ford's treatment of this character. Our opinion of Jessop alternates back and forth throughout the film, to a point where no matter what she does, we begin to understand her thought process and her stubborn independence of mind. That Ford's even capable of doing this by the end of the film says a lot about successful a picture Pilgrimage actually is. By all accounts, we should absolutely loathe Jessop by film's end, but Ford adds enough beautiful, warm touches that it's difficult for us to ever truly dislike her. Pilgrimage is a remarkable film and, like Tryavna, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Seek this one out, even if you have no intention of purchasing the entire box set.

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tryavna
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#92 Post by tryavna » Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:11 pm

I largely agree with you about Crossman's performance being central to the success of Pilgrimage. She is indeed superb, playing one of the downright meanest women in 1930s cinema and yet managing to become both human and, eventually, sympathetic. However, I do think that it's the first time in Ford's career that he so successfully manages to shift from a tragic tone to a comic one while still layering on the sentiment. (Compare it with, say, Born Reckless, which never exactly shifts tone but instead just dwells a bit too long on the comic relief.) Finally, I also sensed Ford become far more self-assured with his compositions. The shot of the son's lover and the grandson handing up the flowers to Crossman is superb precisely because it's so graceful and, of course, because Ford knows that seeing only Crossman's hand rather than a reaction shot is much more powerful. It's one of several tour-de-force moments in the movie and really points the way to Grapes and How Green.

As for the country-bumpkin hokum, I can see what you mean, but a lot of it works for me. Some of it doesn't, though. For instance, I just couldn't get into Tobacco Road, but it may wear better on a second viewing. As I said elsewhere earlier today, Ford is one director whose films actually become better upon multiple viewings. (That was the case for me with Judge Priest, which I hadn't been impressed with upon my previous viewing but now must count as one of my favorite Ford films of the decade. And it boasts its fair share of folksiness.)

One side-note to my earlier post about the boxset as a whole: The extras are a bit of a mixed bag. I enjoyed the new McBride commentary for Pilgrimage; McBride is one of those commentators who, even though he sometimes repeats fairly basic information from earlier commentaries, is an automatic listen for me. But I've been disappointed with the other new commentaries. The one for The Iron Horse is a total waste of time. It's also nice that a critic who is actually a fan of Drums Along the Mohawk provided one for that film (since it's far too often dismissed by Ford scholars), but Nick Redman of all people drags that one down with rather inane questions. And the one for Prisoner of Shark Island contains some good information but is sunk by the patronizing smugness of the commentator. (I mean, how many times does he need to remind us that he's so much more politically correct and racially progressive than people who worked in the film industry in the 1930s?) On the plus side, there are some bizarre musical numbers that were (wisely) cut from When Willie Comes Marching Home.

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jorencain
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#93 Post by jorencain » Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:03 pm

I'm watching "Up The River" (about 40 minutes into it), and there's a lot of jumping that's kind of driving me crazy. At first, I thought there were just a few missing frames, but it's happening a lot (like, every 30 seconds or so). I can't tell if it's my disc (which doesn't appear scratched), or that's just how it is. None of the others have had issues so far (I've watched 6 or 7).

Anyway, is anyone else having issues with this?

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tryavna
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#94 Post by tryavna » Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:59 pm

jorencain wrote:I can't tell if it's my disc (which doesn't appear scratched), or that's just how it is.
That's just how it is, I'm afraid. So it's not just your disc. (The print TCM showed a week or so ago was in the exact same condition.

Fortunately, it's the only film in the whole boxset to be so seriously affected. There are a couple of missing frames in sections of Sea Beneath, but it's nowhere near as distracting.

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jorencain
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#95 Post by jorencain » Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:13 pm

Thanks. I'll go finish watching it then.

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John Hodson
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#96 Post by John Hodson » Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:23 pm

A heads up from the HTF; a poster with contacts at Fox claims that the full set really is a 'limited edition'; whatever stock is out there right now will be all there is and there will be no reprint.

Get 'em while they're hot...

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#97 Post by broadwayrock » Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:12 am

Apart from the fancy packaging/photos and book, is there anything that you cannot get in the separate smaller Ford At Fox boxsets?

I ask this because being in the UK, i dont really want to drop such a large amount of cash on a boxset that has many reported problems of disc scratching.

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#98 Post by OliverB » Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:11 pm

A couple of extra discs that aren't really worth the difference... a Shirley Temple film and I think two other minor vehicles which do not seem of much interest to most. The only one that would've been nice to have sold separately (and I'm betting eventually will) is Tobacco Road. Otherwise, the separate box sets and couple of individual titles seem much more enticing to me, if not simply for the convenience and quality of the packaging and price.

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Derek Estes
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#99 Post by Derek Estes » Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:46 pm

I have to say that Wee Willie Winkie is more than just a Shirley Temple movie. It's been dismissed for decades as a studio obligation, when in fact it's a lovely film, as great as any of the films Ford made with Will Rogers (and arguably a better film than Tobacco Road), Fox's other money making star. The disc is particularly nice because it is available for the first time on video tinted as it was originally shown in theaters.

Not to change the subject, but I was wondering if anyone can help me find where or when it was that Ingmar Bergman said John Ford was the greatest film maker that ever lived. I've read about him saying that about a million times, yet I've never been able to find it anywhere. I'm just wondering in what context it was said, or if it's just an often repeated myth. I would love any information.

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John Hodson
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#100 Post by John Hodson » Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:21 am

Derek Estes wrote:I have to say that Wee Willie Winkie is more than just a Shirley Temple movie. It's been dismissed for decades as a studio obligation, when in fact it's a lovely film, as great as any of the films Ford made with Will Rogers (and arguably a better film than Tobacco Road), Fox's other money making star.
Couldn't agree more Derek.

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